An American Soldier in World War I is written by Liberty professor David L. Snead. It tells the story of a soldier and his fiancé relationship through World War I through letters they wrote one another. Professor Snead was introduced to the letters by a student of his Page Waugh. They were letters from her uncle to her aunt and with permission from her family he combines the letters and historical context to write a book about Browne, Marty and the war. The thesis of this book seems to be seeing the war through the eyes of a soldier in the middle of a vicious war and the relationship that sees him through it. George Browne and Martha “Marty” Johnson are two people making the best out of a tough situation and their undying love and commit to one another seeing them through it.
George Brown a soldier who is serving with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). He enters the war in 1917 and is there until his discharge in 1919. The book looks at the war through the eyes of this soldier, it provides a real life look and first hand experiences of life in the trenches and on the battle field. Yet, it also shows the love and commitment of two lovers who unfortunately are separated for two years because of the war. According to the author, “His experiences not only reveal the extraordinary evolution of a soldier, but also a glimpse of this budding romance with Marty.”(Snead 2006, 11) The book written mostly from letter Browne sent to Marty since most of her letters to him were left in Europe gives us an up close and personal look at the war and this relationship.
The book is composed of six chapters and includes illustrations and maps. The first chapter talks about mobilization and training in the United States In this chapter his letter just talk about his enlisting and training, and how much his love for Marty was growing. As far as training goes, according to the author, “Army commanders had three specific training goals at the camp: discipline and unit cohesion; physical fitness; and basic drill movements and soldier duties.” (Snead 2006, 26)
In chapter 2, it’s November 1, 1917 and Browne and the troops are now in France. Browne writes less but his letters are much more descriptive of deficiencies in the AEF’S training program and problem the soldiers face. From Browne description the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean was a very horrible trip, and once they arrived they were but on trains to but according to Browne letter the train trip was no better than the boat trip. According to the author, “The boat was heaven compared to the train. We ate hard tack and canned meat and never washed or shaved or slept.”(Snead 2006, 38)
In chapter 3 Browne talks a lot about the battles the group is now fighting and the woes or war....